Boom Box: Jonathan Sexton

Singer/songwriter Jonathan Sexton took time off after the breakup of the Whiskey Scars to finish college and start a job teaching kindergarten in Knox County. He's performing again and just released his first solo album, Big Love, and will perform this weekend as part of the New Leaf Festival, the first in a series of shows highlighting veteran local performers in their new line-ups.

MGMT, "Electric Feel" from Oracular Spectacular (Sony/Columbia, 2007)

I hated this song the first time I heard it and now, because I validated its existence, I can't help but love it now. I don't know why I like this song, but I can't help it.

Boyz II Men, "On Bended Knee" from II (Motown, 1994)

This is my favorite song to sing a duet in the car driving to Nashville for band practice with my girlfriend Elodie. Yeah, apparently this song was a worldwide hit and I was so shocked to know that after 15 years, I still know every word, even the bridge where the bass-voiced guy rambles on to his lady. We must be careful what we listen to in our formative years.

A.A. Bondy, "Lovers' Waltz" from American Heart (Superphonic, 2007)

A song that makes me feel like I'm dreaming a dream from which I never want to wake. (Like the Penelope Cruz part of Vanilla Sky, not the Cameron Diaz part—that movie always made me feel weird, and this song brought it all back.)

Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar, 2008)

Most-played album, according to my iTunes, and the best live show ever seen in Knoxville, and also the best album of the year and probably best of last year, too. Everyone should own this album. It has it all—heartbreak, redemption, growth, healing, a breath of fresh air. I've never heard anything like it and the five-part harmonies were even better live at Pilot Light in August.

Journey, "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" from Frontiers (Columbia, 1983)

The song I'd most love to sing with the Coveralls. I think my mom would love it and I want to prove to Dave, Bryan, Chris, and Joe that I can hit those notes, 'cause I can do it.